Friday, 13 December 2013

Top 5 Comic Book Super Teams

Following on from last week's Superhero Top 5 these are my favourite Super Teams.

1. The X-Men (created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) - The X-Men weren't the first super hero team I discovered but they were the catalyst for my obsession with comics. When I was much younger my mum would sometimes buy me a comic when I was poorly. One of the last times she did this I got a copy of a British X-Men magazine that reprinted X-Men 133. this was one of the later parts of the Hellfire Club story and I was instantly hooked. The X-Men had been created by Kirby & Lee as a team of completely original characters (rather than combining existing solo heroes) but really came into it's own when Chris Claremont took control of the title in the late 70s.

2. The Avengers (created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) - One of my very first US edition comics was an Avengers story, bought from Tilly's in Thames Ditton, that explained the origins of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Traditionally the team formed around a core of Captain America, Iron Man & Thor though often it was the peripheral characters that drew me in. Wasp & Ant Man/Giant Man were favourites from the early issues but one of my favourite Avengers remains the impractically purple costumed archer Hawkeye.

3. The Fantastic Four (created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) - I suspect I picked up my fist copy of The Fantastic Four in the same visit to Tilly's I mentioned above. The FF were a little different from any other team as they were linked by blood and marriage. Johnny Storm was Sue Storm's brother. Sue eventually married Reed Richards and Ben Grimm was their long standing friend. Unlike other series membership of the FF never changed. In a universe where teams and characters are rebooted and redefined more and more frequently the FF remain a happy constant.

4. The Justice League of America (created by Gardner Fox) - DC's shining beacon of super teams combining all the very best DC characters in one magazine. I mean, holy crap, any group that includes; Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash & Aqua Man is a force to be reckoned with. As an occasional DC reader the JLA gave me a hit of their best characters for the price of one comic.

5. The Defenders (created by Roy Thomas & Ross Andru) - I struggled to decide on my fifth pick. I quite liked DC's Legion of Super Heroes, a space based team, led at times by Superboy, made up of alien heroes from a future world who didn't appear in any other titles. I considered The Watchmen, from Alan Moore's excellent graphic novel, but they were never really a genuine ongoing team (in my eyes at least). But at heart I'm a Marvel kid so I plumped for Marvel's secondary super team The Defenders. The early issues saw a pretty cool core team of Doctor Strange, Hulk & Namor the Sub-Mariner and soon added the Silver Surfer and Valkyrie.



Tony Lazarus said...

Ah, the memories! Steve Gerber's Defenders were my faves, some really weird concepts predating the likes of Cerebus and Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol (who would have been one of my picks, along with the New Teen Titans)

Chopper said...

Steve Gerber is a name that rings a bell, don't think I read any of his Defender's issues though.

I like a lot of Grant Morrison's work but never read any Doom Patrol. I remeber him doing some great stuff in 2000AD. Suspect DP was after I was a regular reader, I stopped in the early 90's though I did have some copies of The Invisibles.

I should have mentioned the New Teen Titans, they were definitely in the mix for 5th.